The San Antonio Spurs got more bad news than going to 1-4 on the year. They also had to deal with the fact that Tony Parker could be out for a significant amount of time. Parker, who was coming off a spectacular 55 point game left this game with a sprained ankle. Parker could be out 2-4 weeks, making it a possibly long month for an already struggling Spurs team.
The Miami Heat improved to 3-2 on the year and got a great game out of Dwyane Wade. Wade dropped 33 points and had 10 rebounds for the Heat.
The Spurs will host the Knicks on Tuesday 11/11 which can’t hurt their chances of picking up a win. They’ll play in Milwaukee the following night before returning home to host the Houston Rockets on 11/14. San Antonio Spurs tickets are available for all remaining games.
It took four games and a double over time, but the San Antonio Spurs got their first win of the year last night against the Timberwolves. The end result was a 129-125 victory in which Tony Parker scored a career high 55 points, the biggest 2 coming on a 20 foot buzzer beater to send the game into the 2nd OT.
The Timberwolves who also stand at 1-3 now, did everything they could to hang in there with the Spurs. They got a huge night out of Al Jefferson who scored 30, with 14 rebounds and 3 assists.
The Spurs have gotten off to slow starts in recent years only to turn it on in the final weeks. They’re certainly hoping to avoid that pattern this year. They’ll be looking for their 2nd win of the season on 11/7 when they host the Miami Heat.
San Antonio Spurs tickets are available for all 2008-2009 games.
Midway through the 2008 NBA season, the Los Angeles Lakers sat right in the middle of the pack of all the Western Conference powerhouses. The Rockets were in the midst of reeling off a 20+ game winning streak, the Suns had acquired Shaquille O’Neal and the defending champs in the Spurs were simply on fire. That’s right about when some guy named Kobe decided that it was time to start playing some ball, and he and the Lakers haven’t stopped since.
The reigning MVP dropped 39 points en route to Los Angeles’s 100-92 victory over the San Antonio Spurs Thursday night, securing a spot in the NBA Finals for the first time since 2004.
“I think it is a tremendous accomplishment,” Bryant said. “I think the West is extremely tough. We’re all extremely excited and proud about it. Now, it’s time to go on and see if we can’t finish it off.”
The Lakers trailed by 13 points after one quarter and gradually chipped away from the deficit with the help of Bryant’s firepower. At the end of three quarters of play, the Lakers had gained a 1 point advantage on a 3-point field goal by Vladimir Radmanovic (8 pts) that came with :28 seconds left on the game clock. The teams would trade buckets for the first two minutes of play in the 4th quarter before Luke Walton (5 pts) nailed his only 3-pointer of the game giving L.A. the 70-68 edge, a lead they would not lose the rest of the game.
Midseason acquisition Pau Gasol might be the most excited member of this Lakers line-up to be heading to the finals. Halfway through his season he was stuck on an awful Memphis Grizzlies team that was already making golf reservations for their summer plans. A trade right before the deadline moved Gasol into Lakerland and both parties couldn’t be happier with what they got. In yesterday’s win, Gasol netted 12 points and grabbed a playoff career-high 19 rebounds.
The only other Laker in double-figures was veteran forward Lamar Odom. Odom finished with 13 points on a 5 for 10 shooting performance and grabbed 8 rebounds in 34 minutes of action.
“My heart’s still pumping, that adrenaline is still running from the game,” said Odom. “Maybe when I sit down and have something to eat, I’ll realize what just happened. We came out here, played our game, and won. It’s satisfying, but one more step.”
That next step will be against either the Boston Celtics or Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals, which begin on June 5th. The Celtics currently hold a 3-2 series lead with Game 6 taking place tonight in Detroit. The Lakers will certainly be watching intently but coach Phil Jackson knows that no matter who the opponent, it will be a challenging series.
“We look at both those opponents (Boston and Detroit) with a great deal of respect and know that we have a great, great hill to climb to be able to finish in the finals and win,” said Jackson who will be going for his 10th NBA championship ring. Currently, he is tied with former Celtics coach and legend Red Auerbach with 9 titles as head coach.
While Jackson credits the Western Conference title win as a team effort, Spurs head coach Greg Popovich points out that his team’s offensive struggles combined with L.A.’s defensive intensity were the keys to them winning the series.
“I thought we did a fine job,” he said. “We just didn’t muster the offense, for a variety of reasons. The fact that we didn’t come through offensively is a disappointment, but part of that is a credit to the Lakers. We just played a team that was better. That’s why the Lakers won. The better team won. You get a seven-game series, you win four games, you’re the best team.”
Tim Duncan’s effort in the loss was outstanding. The former MVP scored 19 points, hauled down 15 boards and dished out 10 assists for a triple-double. It just wasn’t enough to lift the Spurs past Kobe and the rest of the Lakers lineup.
“Just got to gear it up again to go to next year,” Duncan said. “Love what we had this year. We just weren’t good enough through stretches.”
Now all the Lakers can do is sit and wait because their next stop is the 2008 NBA Finals.
You don’t win the MVP award in the NBA for mediocrity, you win it for having clutch performances in the games the that matter most. Welcome to the world of Kobe Bryant.
Tuesday night Bryant put on another impressive display that helped lift the Los Angeles Lakers to a 93-91 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio. The defeat was the Spurs first loss at home during the 08′ postseason and could not have come at a worse time. The defending NBA Champions now find themselves trailing the series 3-1 and heading back into enemy territory, facing a must win situation.
Bryant dropped 28 points and grabbed 10 boards in the game that put the LA only 1 win away from returning to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2004.
“It is a big step for us,” said Bryant. “Tonight we came out and did a much, much better job to win in this building in this particular game. It’s big for us.”
Up two points with 2 seconds left the Lakers were in situation that called for one more stop to secure the victory. Coming out of a time out, the Spurs ran Brent Barry off of a double screen for the game’s final shot. Barry’s 3-point attempt to win the game did not connect, many believed that he was also fouled in the last ditch effort to pick up the victory.
“That’s not going to get called in the Western Conference finals,” Barry said. “Maybe in the regular season. But that call shouldn’t be called in the Western Conference finals.”
Tim Duncan led all scorers with 29 points while hammering down 17 rebounds but it was not enough to overcome the reigning MVP.
“Obviously we’re in a hole and it’s 3-1,” Duncan said. “It’s one loss and an elimination, but we really feel that if we clean a lot of this stuff up we have an opportunity to get right back in this series.”
Tony Parker and Barry both added 23 points a piece for the Spurs but throughout the game it was the Lakers lineup of youngsters that out hustled and out worked the veterans that just last season tasted what it was like to be crowned NBA Champions.
“I told them at the end of the ballgame, their energy was terrific,” Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. “Coming out and responding to a loss and getting a lead … and playing with that kind of energy, I think, carried us over and we responded every time that they came in, tied the ballgame.”
One statistic that San Antonio head coach Greg Popovich and the rest of the Spurs lineup can not be happy about is their rebounding effort as a team. They were out rebounded 46-37 on the night which led to 26 second chance points by the Lakers compared to only 4 for the Spurs. That can not happen again in LA if they expect to pull off a victory.
Game 5 will be on Thursday night at 9pm. The Spurs will look to extend the series at least another game so they can play Game 6 in front of their home crowd, while LA is looking to wrap things up in their own backyard.
One thing is certain; Kobe is going to continue to put up MVP numbers because that’s what MVP’s do. It’s now up to the Spurs to shut down the rest of the Lakers club to keep their hopes of repeating as champions alive.
Lakers vs Spurs Tickets available for all remaining games. Tickets also available for potential Lakers vs Celtics or Lakers vs Pistons NBA Finals.
With last nights 94-90 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, the Boston Celtics accomplished something that hasn’t been done in seven years. That feat would be the good old fashion ‘Texas Sweep’ or when an NBA team comes in and beats the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks all in the same road trip. The last team to come into Texas and beat all three of the powerhouses was the Sacramento Kings in November 2001.
The win didn’t come easy for the Celtics who trailed the majority of the second half, and even were down with less then one minute to play. Ray Allen nailed a 3-point field goal with :31 seconds left to pull the Celtics ahead 90-88 and they were then able to hold off the Mavs offensive attack for the remaining time on the clock.
“This feels good,” said Allen on nba.com, who’d missed three games with a jammed left ankle. “It’s something for the rest of the NBA to watch.”
The C’s capitalized on shooting very well from the charity stripe hitting 30 of 35 attempts (85.7%) on the night which helped balance out an ugly performance from the floor where they were only 30 for 87 (34.5%). The PG combination of Rajon Rondo and Sam Cassell combined for a dismal 1-16 shooting display which dragged the teams overall percentage down, but the effort was enough for a win.
Paul Pierce had another solid performance recording a double-double with 22 points and 13 rebound. Kevin Garnett had equally impressive numbers with 20 points and 13 boards. Allen finished with 21 points and all the heroics that were needed to secure the victory.
The Mavericks were led by PF’s Dirk Nowitzki and Josh Howard who scored 22 and 24 points in the losing effort. PG Jason Kidd was held to only 2 points and Dallas is now 0-7 to teams with winning records since he was traded to the team before the deadline.
“We’re just right there in a lot of these games,” said Jerry Stackhouse on nba.com, who scored 17 points. “It’s disappointing to keep coming up short.”
The loss was the second consecutive loss at home for the Mavericks, the first time that had happened all year. It doesn’t get any easier for Dallas, San Antonio is in town on Sunday and the Spurs have beaten the Mavericks in their last two meetings.
Last night’s win was the Celtics 14th victory in 15 games. They are currently 4-0 on their road trip with one game remaining on Saturday vs. New Orleans. During the month of March they’ve held opponents to an amazing average of only 87 points per contest. During the ‘Texas Sweep’ the Celtics held All-Stars Tim Duncan, Tracy McGrady and Jason Kidd to a total of 20 points, together the trio averages 52. Not bad, right?
Not bad at all. The Celtics continue to roll with no plans to stop until a 17th banner is hoisted at the TD Banknorth Garden.